Everything About Microfinance Institutions and Their Functions and Legal Bases

Everything About Microfinance Institutions and Their Functions and Legal Bases

What are microfinance institutions (MFI)? This is a commonly asked question when trying to understand the role and significance of MFIs in supporting financial inclusion and economic development in various countries, including Indonesia.

MFIs are financial entities with a focus on providing financial services to people. This time, AdIns will explain in more detail what an MFI is, its important role in improving financial access and supporting economic development at the local level, and how it operates to address the existing financial gap.


Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are financial entities that focus on providing financial services to individuals, small businesses, and communities with limited access to formal financial services, such as conventional banks. The main objective of MFIs is to address financial gaps and help economically disadvantaged people access capital, save money, and manage financial risks.

MFIs usually operate at the local or community level, and they often have a better understanding of the needs and challenges faced by their client demographics. They provide a range of financial products such as small loans, savings, and microinsurance to support small business development and help individuals plan for their financial future.

There are many types of microfinance institutions, including credit cooperatives, micro banks, and other inclusive financial institutions. They often work with non-governmental organizations, donor agencies, and governments to improve access to financial services for underprivileged communities.

By providing better access to financial resources, MFIs play an important role in promoting sustainable economic development and reducing poverty levels in the communities they serve.

Functions of Microfinance in Indonesia

Microfinance institutions are very important in supporting the economic development of communities in Indonesia. Here are some of the main functions of MFIs in Indonesia:

1. Inclusive Financial Access

One of the main functions of MFIs is to provide inclusive financial access to individuals and small businesses across Indonesia. They enable those who do not have access to conventional banks to obtain loans, open savings accounts, or utilize other financial products. In doing so, MFIs help reduce the financial gap and enable underprivileged communities to better manage their finances.

MFIs also take a more personalized approach to delivering financial services as they better understand the unique needs of local communities. This makes them more responsive to the financial challenges faced by locals, such as agricultural business expansion, micro-enterprise development, or emergency fund needs.

2. Small and Micro Business Development

Multifinance institutions are often the main providers of small loans to small and micro enterprises in Indonesia. They provide much-needed capital for the growth of small businesses that underpin the country’s economy. Loans from MFIs can be used to purchase equipment, expand stock, or expand a small business. As such, MFIs play a role in creating jobs, increasing household income, and supporting local economic development.

In addition, MFIs often provide training and mentoring to small and micro business owners, helping them to manage their businesses more efficiently, improve product or service quality, and understand better financial management concepts. This helps these businesses grow sustainably.

3. Promotion of Financial Literacy

MFIs also play a role in improving financial literacy in Indonesia. They educate people on the importance of saving money, managing financial risks, and planning for their financial future. Through financial literacy programs, MFIs help people understand concepts such as savings, investment, and insurance. This not only helps individuals make smarter financial decisions but also supports more stable economic growth across the country.

Read alsao: Electronic Money: Definition, Types, and Its Benefits

Legal Bases in Indonesia

The legal basis of microfinance institutions in Indonesia consists of several foundations that govern the establishment, operation, and regulation of MFIs. The following are some of the legal bases that govern MFIs in Indonesia:

1. Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 1 Year 2013 on Microfinance Institutions

This law is the main legal basis governing MFIs in Indonesia. It provides the definition, duties, powers, and obligations of MFIs in providing financial services to the underprivileged. In addition, it also regulates supervision, licensing, and sanctions against MFIs that do not comply with statutory provisions.

2. Government Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia Number 10 Year 2014 on Microfinance Institutions

This Government Regulation is a derivative of Law No. 1/2013 and regulates in more detail various aspects related to MFIs, including establishment requirements, minimum capital, licensing, and supervision by the competent authority. It also regulates the procedures for business operations and financial reporting by microfinance institutions.

3. Financial Services Authority (OJK) Regulation

The Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK) is the institution responsible for the supervision and regulation of the financial sector in Indonesia. They issue more technical regulations on MFI operations, such as provisions on interest rate setting, risk management, and qualifications of MFI boards. OJK’s constantly updated regulations help create a clearer and more sustainable framework for MFIs.

4. Local Government Policy

In addition to the national legal basis, MFIs may also be subject to regulations and policies of the local government where they operate. This may include additional requirements, incentives, or cooperation provided by the local government to support the growth and sustainability of MFIs in their area.

With this strong legal foundation, MFIs in Indonesia have clear guidelines to run their operations, ensure regulatory compliance, and provide beneficial financial services to the people who need them. This also helps create a stable and safe environment for the development of MFIs across the country.

Read also: Specialized Financial Services Institutions (SFI/LJKK): Functions and Types

To support the efficiency and sustainability of MFI operations and ensure the company’s financial system runs smoothly, many institutions have digitized their services. One of them is Multifinance Core Systems CONFINS from AdIns. This product is specifically designed to meet the needs of financial institutions, including MFIs, in managing their financial systems more efficiently and effectively.

With CONFINS, you can integrate business processes, optimize risk management, and ensure regulatory compliance. So, if you are from one of the microfinance institutions that want to improve operational efficiency and bring better financial services to the community, consider using this product. Contact us right now for more information about this product!

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Published date :

09 October 2023